A young woman can begin her treatment for a rare form of brain cancer in the coming days after €370,000 was raised in just 12 days.
Her family said “we are thrilled,” and the response to their fundraising for the treatment, “exceeded our wildest dreams”.
It is teacher Regina Duffy’s third time fighting cancer and this time she will be treated in New York where the cost must be paid in full and in advance.
However, the huge response to the fundraising appeal means her treatment begin next week.
Her sister Adele said, “It feels inadequate to just say "thank you" to all those who donated. The response has been incredible.”
“By last Friday morning (the 25th), we had achieved something amazing - €370,000 had been raised in 12 days and it's all down to the incredible generosity and kindness of people.”
Regina (38) and her husband Jason Donoghue should be preparing to celebrate their first wedding anniversary on March 10 but instead will be in hospital in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York.
There she will have an individual, tailored treatment plan, for her cancer which Adele said “is rare and difficult to treat and requires expertise and treatment that just aren't available in Ireland.”
Regina, who is from Westport, and her family originally anticipated her treatment could cost in the region of €250,000 and just over a week ago learnt it was in fact €370,000 just to commence treatment and it has to be paid in full and upfront.
There are also further costs expected as the treatment progresses.
Time was of the essence and all stops were pulled out to raise the monies.
Speaking today Adele said, “Regina's year had been playing out quite positively last year. She was newly-married, had a new job and had moved home to county Mayo.”
She she had lots of hopes and dreams, all of which are now on hold while she is being treated in New York.”
She had been looking forward to a fresh start and lots of positive things after a turbulent few years: breast cancer in 2011, a brain tumour in 2014 and the loss of our beloved mother in 2016.
Regina and Jason, who is from Tuam, now face, “the prospect of spending their first wedding anniversary in hospital in New York.
"However, they are more than willing to forego the celebrations in order for Regina to receive the best care possible.”
They are heartened by the support shown by people and Adele said, “It has been an enormous source of comfort for them, knowing that people have taken the cause to their hearts and are displaying a generosity that is completely remarkable.
"The good wishes and messages of support have been very touching.”
She said treatment can now begin and it is down to the kindness of people who donated and responded to the Gofundme page.
Adele said, “This response has exceeded our wildest dreams and has lifted us after the despair we felt when we first discovered the amount of money we needed to raise in order for Regina's treatment to start.”
“It also buoys us up as we continue our fundraising efforts in order to meet the additional costs that will be incurred as Regina’s treatment progresses.”
Because of the anticipated ongoing costs, the Gofundme page remains open.
Donations can also be made direct to the bank account ‘Regina’s fight for life,’ the details of which are available on the Facebook page.